Ahi tuna with asparagus and edamame salad

Chill out without a grill out

Originally appeared in the August 4, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

With this seemingly unceasing heat wearing out its welcome, it’s safe to assume that toiling in front of the gas grill sounds like torture.  So if you’re waving the white flag at the oppressive temperatures, no sweat.  Just relax and enjoy this easy recipe in the A/C.  Read more after the jump:If you don’t have the capability to grill on your kitchen range (say with a cast-iron grill pan), you can also pan-sear your fish.  Ahi tuna is a firm, steaky fish with a sweet flavor.  Sure, you could substitute another firm fish here (like salmon or cod), but tuna’s an ideal pairing for this week’s accompaniment.  This asparagus salad is one of my favorite dishes, ‘cause there’s a lot happening here.  You have a compelling concoction of asparagus (pungent, bitter), edamame (an immature soybean that provides a nutty element), peas (sweet), and bacon (smoky, salty).  And rounding out these contrasting flavors is a scattering of fresh herbs.

It might be a challenge to round-up fresh edamame, but many markets stock frozen, podded soybeans.  Just remember: when using frozen vegetables, don’t overdo it—gently thaw by blanching in hot water and immediately shock in cold water.  This will maintain color, texture, and nutrients.

Ahi tuna with asparagus and edamame salad

Serves 4

  • 2 ahi (or yelllowfin) tuna  steaks
  • 1 shallot, minced, soaked in 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6-8 ounces asparagus, cut in pieces
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 6 ounces podded edamame
  • As needed, olive oil
  • 2 slices bacon, cut in thick chunks
  • 6 ounces fresh shelled peas
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Handful fresh tarragon leaves
  • Handful fresh mint leaves
  • handful fresh chopped chives

1.  Season tuna with salt and pepper.  Grill or pan-sear fish until desired doneness is achieved.  Set aside and cover with foil, allowing to rest.

2.  Blanch asparagus in boiling water for roughly a minute before plunging in cold water.  Repeat process for edamame and peas.  In a wide sauté pan, cook bacon until crisp (you may need to remove a bit of rendered fat afterwards).  Add edamame, peas, pour over stock, bring to simmer.  Add asparagus, shallot (drained).  Add oil, balsamic, juice, kosher and cracked black pepper.  Adjust seasonings.  Fold in fresh herbs and serve.

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